It’s getting close to the Holiday season and once again it is time for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and New Years. This is the time of year when families get together to share a meal, enjoy each other’s company, and reminisce about the past. It is also the time to indulge in retail therapy after that big Thanksgiving dinner, where people crowd the stores, fight for door busters and other products they probably don’t need! The holiday season has become pure insanity.
Those of you that have gotten past the first paragraph must already be thinking, “this guy is such a Scrooge”! To this I say “maybe”. I feel the holiday season is a great time to get some deals, but the amount of insanity that has gone into the shopping season has gotten a little out of hand. Consumerism in general has gotten out of hand. Retail purchases have become more about having abundance rather than having what one needs and this is part of the reason why I started blogging. I am trying to promote the idea of simple living through austerity and helping to lift people away from what I think are bad habits. I’m not against shopping and owning things, I just wish people were more mindful about the things they buy. I mean really, how many sweaters, shirts, pants, shoes, iPads and TV’s does a person need? Is getting a cheap price on that large screen tv really a good reason to upgrade to one that is 5 inches bigger? Is a 50% off sale really worth owning yet another pair of jeans for? I ask these questions because quite honestly, that used to be me. I spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years just to end up making my home an internal landfill that I had to clean out through sales and donations, while cheating myself out of doing what most Americans don’t do, which is save for the future.
The reason I started this blog was to share my experiences and hope that others can learn from what I feel are my mistakes and talk you into buying the best things you can buy if you really are in need of it at the moment and I encourage you not to buy things just because there’s a sale going on. Don’t get me wrong I take advantage of sales too, but only if I happen to need what I’m looking for when it is actually on sale. Sometimes if I really need something, but can hold off, I do wait for a sale before replacing what I need. Otherwise, I pay full price for the item, which is usually ok by me since I spend so little in general buying things just because they’re “on sale”.
My philosophy for shopping is simple. Buy it if you need it, when you need it and don’t buy it if you don’t need it. Here is a personal story to illustrate. Years ago I remember going out on Black Friday and ended up owning 4 pairs of dress shoes. These were deals I couldn’t pass up! Clarks had a buy one get one half off sale and Macy’s was having early bird specials on shoes. Three pairs of those shoes by the way were brown. Now four years later I am finally starting to get to the end of life for those shoes. These shoes have been taking up my small living space for years and now I wish I only had one pair of each color (black and brown). From now on, I plan on purchasing my favorite pair of black or brown shoes and I won’t choose based on price, but rather based on quality and my personal liking for the shoes. I may even buy the best ones out there knowing that I will get a long lasting quality product. The point of sharing that story is not to pass judgement on you if you happen to be the person I described, but rather to offer a template for you to model after. It’s ok to own things, but at some point we have forgotten that things are meant to be help us improve our lives, but instead human greed has created things to sell and build wealth beyond imagination for those who make those things. Furthermore, those same people who are creating wealthy lifestyles are making those things they are selling to us cheaper and cheaper. Quality is suffering, while quantities of crap are filling our world, meanwhile we are hurting our environment, taking people we love for granted, neglecting our financial futures and fighting with others at the mall in the crazy holiday shopping traffic.
This season I’d like to convince the small amount of people who will read this blog post to stay home on Black Friday and just spend time with the people you love and doing the things you enjoy. If there happens to be an item you have been needing for a while, then by all means please go online and buy the item while it is on sale. Make no mistake, I am not encouraging you to shop if you don’t need to, but rather am only encouraging you to take advantage of a sale if you were already in the market for a specific item. The holidays are a great time to relax and recouperate from a busy year. Take that time to rest and enjoy your time wisely. I hope this has set an impression on some of you and I hope you have a great Holiday Season.
This is the Simple Asian, signing off for now.